Inspiring Emergency Medicine Innovation

What happens when a physician owns their practice? They’re empowered to be change leaders in their communities and impact how care is delivered at the national level.

Vituity’s Ian Butler, MD, MBA, identified a critical gap in emergency medicine care: the underutilization of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). This insight helped Dr. Butler transform his practice and set a new standard in emergency departments nationwide.

Published January 09, 2024

POCUS - Point-of-care-ultrasound

The Genesis of Change

Dr. Butler's path to innovation began with a realization during a routine emergency department shift. He noticed that despite the advanced capabilities of POCUS, its potential was not being fully harnessed in emergency settings, particularly in community hospitals. This gap between technology and practice sparked a desire in Dr. Butler to drive change.

At Vituity, a culture encouraging physicians to "own their practice" was pivotal in nurturing Dr. Butler's initiative. Feeling empowered, he set out to integrate POCUS into regular emergency medicine practice, thereby enhancing diagnostic efficiency and patient care quality.

The Focus on POCUS Initiative

Dr. Butler created the "Focus on POCUS" initiative, a program aimed at educating and equipping physicians with ultrasound technology. He gathered data, collaborated with colleagues, and created a platform for knowledge exchange and best practices. His efforts culminated in forming a learning collaborative, bringing together emergency departments nationwide to adopt and effectively use POCUS.

Improved Throughput and Diagnosis

The implementation of POCUS under Dr. Butler's guidance has been transformative. Emergency departments that embraced this technology saw a significant improvement in faster throughput and accuracy. This streamlined patient care and enabled physicians to make more informed decisions rapidly, a critical factor in emergency medicine.

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We quickly realized that using ultrasound can make emergency teams less busy by streamlining care and allowing for more rapid and informed decision-making.

Ian Butler, MD, MBA

Ian Butler, MD, MBA
Director of Quality and Performance - Critical Care Medicine

The Power of Collaborative Learning

The POCUS initiative is an output from a Vituity collaborative, a program designed to foster continuous learning and knowledge sharing among healthcare professionals. At its core, the program is built on the principle of collaborative education, where medical practitioners from various specialties come together to share insights, experiences, and best practices.

This unique model not only enhances the skill sets of individual practitioners but also significantly improves patient care outcomes. By leveraging a mix of traditional learning methods and innovative digital platforms, Vituity ensures that its healthcare professionals are equipped with the latest medical knowledge and techniques, ensuring that they stay at the forefront of patient care.

Each collaborative typically includes 6 to 10 teams from hospitals around the country. Teams attend an in-person meeting to develop their action plans, which are carried out for the nine-month collaborative. Local teams also receive longitudinal coaching, resources, and tools to help them achieve success.

The program's structure encourages a culture of lifelong learning and mentorship. In addition to clinical skills, it encompasses leadership, management, and wellness strategies, ensuring a well-rounded development of healthcare professionals. Since 2013, collaborative learning has positioned Vituity as a catalyst for innovation and excellence in healthcare.

Click here to read a Q&A with Dr. Butler about this innovative program.

Partnering to improve patient lives

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